The Trap

Ludovic Bruckstein

Translated by Alistair Ian Blyth

Istros Books



ISBN: 9781912545315


Publication date: 15 September 2019



The Trap & The Rag Doll are two novellas by the Romanian writer Ludovic Bruckstein, that have remained undiscovered for many years. Both narratives are concerned with extraordinary stories of survival and struggle within the multicultural Transylvanian region during the time of Nazi occupation.

The Trap is the story of Ernest, a young Jewish student from Sighet, who went into hiding in the mountains surrounding the town, when anti-Semitic persecutions began. From his hiding places he witnessed the fate of the Jewish population of the town until they are all sent away, in May 1944, in four long cattle-train transports to Auschwitz. Shortly thereafter, the Russian soldiers ‘liberate’ the town, and Ernest eagerly returns to his parent’s house. However the Russians, suspicious of a young man that suddenly appears in town, out of nowhere, arrest him and exile him to a prisoner camp in Siberia! Critics saw in this last novel of his an allegorical rendering of the situation of many Jews, who, like himself, after World-War II, readily joined the “World-Wide Communist Revolution” to avenge the atrocities of Nazism, only to find themselves trapped in cruel, dictatorial regimes that became suspicious of them and refused to allow their assimilation and integration, quite like the regimes before the war.